If you got a whiff of sweet, BBQ-scented smoke downtown on Saturday, expect more. With the scissor-snip of a blue ribbon, Ward 1 Councilmember Sam Shoge and business owner William Holland officially opened Phat Daddy’s BBQ and Catering at the former Ellen’s Coffee Shop location in Philosopher’s Terrace plaza.
For Holland, the new location represents a counterpart to his decades-long mobile smoked food operation in Anne Arundel County and brought to the Eastern Shore in 2010 when he and his wife, Michelle, moved to Millington. Michelle operates Speedy Tax Services in Galena.
“I started out with informal cookouts for family and friends, then a few community and church events which eventually led to large catering opportunities like the Homeowners Association,” Holland says. From there, the business grew into larger catering events and he soon began traveling throughout the State as his brand grew more popular.
And all this while holding down a full-time job with Comcast and Atlantic Broadband and at one time as a booking officer with the Anne Arundel PD, an experience reflected by his business motto, “Securing the Flavor, Protecting the Taste,” a slogan credited to longtime friend Roslyn Hill.
Then the pandemic hit, the world closed, and businesses struggled to find ways to survive. Luckily for Holland, his mobile vending business became a go-to solution for people wanting restaurant style meals.
Holland says that he reached a turning point after losing his full-time job and decided to look around for a permanent location for his BBQ business.
With a hand from Kent County Economic Development Director Jamie Williams and a PPP grant, along with his life savings, Holland decided to take a leap of faith and open Phat Daddy’s BBQ and Catering. Except for electrical and plumbing, he and a few friends renovated the old coffee shop, even using deconstructed wooden pallets to repurpose as wall siding for a rustic feel.
“I bet on me,” he says. I didn’t want to be dependent on the ups and downs of the corporate world. I want to be part of this great community. I’ve always been service-oriented and want to find creative ways to participate and support the community.”
Holland looks forward to growing the business through special events like Ravens Game Night and is looking forward to a coming up with creative ways to celebrate Thanksgiving and other occasions. He expects to have a beer and wince license by the end of October
Oh, and the name? “When my daughter was a child I was trying to come up with a name for the business. One day she called out to me ‘fat daddy’—and that was it,” Holland says.
And yes, there is a secret recipe involved.
Phat Daddy’s menu includes Italian sausages, pulled pork sandwich, pulled chicken sandwich, smoked barbecue ribs, smoked barbecue chicken, fish and chips. For his complete menu, see the Phat Daddy website here.
Holland also wants to get the word out that he’s looking for experienced wait staff and front counter employees.
Phat Daddy’s is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 am-7 pm. 443-282-0028